News: Neillsville – Am. Legion to Honor Pekol (2020)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Pekol, Schnitzler, Plautz
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 1/29/2020
Frank Pekol to be Honored by Legion (2020)
Frank Pekol will be honored in February by American Legion Post 73 for his military service. Submitted Photo
Greenwood High School graduate Frank Pekol will be one of thee veterans to be honored by the Neillsville Legion in February.
After graduating from Greenwood High School in 1953, he did a little of everything, including help build a drive-in theater in Christie. In May 1954, he started working for Plautz Brothers, where he did hand labor and ran equipment.
Pekol, who was born in the Town of Seif at the Pekol farm, was drafted into the Army in May 1954. He started basic training at Fort Carson, in Colorado and later transferred to Fort Leonard in Missouri to an engineer company.
Pekol’s first sergeant asked him to drive a semi-tractor used to haul heavy equipment. After driving it, his sergeant asked him if he had ever driven a heavy truck before and said, “I can’t believe how you got around with it.”
“I have hauled stuff like this for three years,” Pekol replied.
“This will be your job,” the sergeant replied.
Shortly after, Pekol became a driving instructor and trainer.
From there, Pekol moved to vehicle dispatch for the engineer company motor pool. He also did welding and maintenance.
Pekol was then reassigned to Fort McCoy where he was a driver for the parade car and jeeps. He drove the post commander, more than 30 generals and other officers who went through summer training.
He also drove the Fifth Army retired general and his wife and the retired Fifth Army chaplain.
“It was a very interesting time for me, and I was treated very well during my time in the Army,” Pekol said.
Pekol returned to Fort Leonard. In March 1960, he was discharged as an E-4.
After his discharge, Pekol returned home and was called back to Plautz Brothers. He ran the equipment and eventually, ran the crushing operation. He injured his back in 1978 and was unable to work for a year.
When he was able to return, Plautz Brothers called him back and he ran the Highway 29 project.
After Plautz Brothers was sold in 1979, Pekol started his own company and covered the same areas as Plautz Brothers.
In 2001, the company sold quarries, pits and equipment, and Pekol retired.
Pekol married Janice Schnitzler in 1961. They have four children – Kathleen Kolnhofer, Gregg, Dn and Kent. Pekol has eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pekol and Janice have traveled throughout North America, the Caribbean and European. He will be in his 82nd year making maple syrup. He also does woodworking.
Pekol also attended Worchel Grade School.
Pekol will be honored at an event at American Legion Post 73, 7 Boon Boulevard, Neillsville. It is this Monday, Feb. 3. There will be a social hour at 4:30 p.m. and a potluck at 5:30 p.m.
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